Atlanta artist PaperFrank finishes new mural in downtown Asheville

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Atlanta-based visual artist PaperFrank painted this spiffy new mural behind Asheville Gymnastics last week. The work by PaperFrank, aka Frank Dunson, features his trademark characters, Damien and Jessica, as well as Kurupt.

PaperFrank, 22, moved around alot during his childhood but attended Asheville High School, his longest stretch in one place, he said. He’s a tattoo artist, muralist and painter. He told me last week that the Asheville mural was his first using spray paint. He used brushes to paint a mural last year outside the former Arcade Asheville, a mural that has since been painted over.

PaperFrank also contributed to a group mural inside the Asheville Boys & Girls Club on Haywood Road. He said he’s doing the work to raise his Asheville profile in advance of his first show in Asheville, a group show called “Mummeration” set for Valentine’s Day.

Last August, PaperFrank opened to a crowd of 3,000 in Atlanta, where he has a big following. Creative Loafing has a great profile of Dunson, which goes into detail about his work. A tidbit:

The 23 acrylic paintings are from Frank “Paper Frank” Dunson’s latest exhibition of neo-pop/anime-influenced works, Pink Lemonade, which he unveiled to a huge and unexpected crowd of more than 3,000 on July 11. Besides a concerned fire marshal, the other few thousand fans, friends, peers, and curiosity seekers — who stood in double lines snaking around the building and congregated en masse outside the steepled entrance — were a testament to the cult-like following he’s nurtured within Atlanta over the past two years.

For the 22-year-old self-trained artist, it felt like the moment his dreams for the future might finally begin to outweigh his nightmares from the past.

Though his paintbrush drips with pastel colors and childlike playfulness, Paper Frank’s palette is haunted by life’s darker undertones.

More about PaperFrank at bluemarkstudios:

Paper Frank is an internationally known acrylic painter and professional tattoo artist. Born in 1990 with a natural talent passed down through artistic family members, he spent his childhood developing his artistic ability in his hometowns of Atlanta, GA and Asheville, NC. With poor vision that allows him to see the world in large, simplistic shapes and colors, PaperFrank translated his weak eyesight into the inspiration for his renowned style. Combining illustrative and contemporary styles, he creates large acrylic paintings featuring his iconic characters and striking palette. He has exhibited his works in many solo and group exhibitions at a wide variety of locations and has large indoor and outdoor murals around the cities of Atlanta and Asheville, as well as at Sea World Orlando.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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